The uncentered soul

By Dave Henning / February 22, 2015

“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”- James 4:8

John Ortberg continues Chapter 8 of Soul Keeping by reminding us that the Greek word dipsuchos often is translated “double-minded.”  However, we also can think of dipsuchos as meaning double-souled, split-souled, or the uncentered soul.  Pastor Ortberg goes on to describe five indicators of the uncentered soul.  The first two are discussed today.

1.  A soul without a center has difficulty making a decision.  Pontius Pilate is a classic example of indecision, as he struggled with the decision of what to do with Jesus.  When one’s soul lacks a center, one always is unsure which temptations are worth resisting or which sacrifices are worth making.  People whose souls are centered find it brings clarity to their decision.

2.  A soul without a center feels constantly vulnerable to people or circumstances.  Pastor Ortberg notes that when David was fleeing from Absalom, he became completely exhausted and stopped to rest.  The literal translation of the text is that David stopped to “re-soul” himself.  Elijah’s soul grew terrified under Jezebel’s threat.  God responded by giving Elijah’s body rest and food.  God spoke in a still, small voice.  Elijah’s soul was centered and restored.  John concludes: “The disconnected soul lives in vulnerability.”

Today’s question: Following your vocation loss, have you experienced either of the first two indicators of the uncentered soul?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “When the soul grows short”

About the author

Dave Henning

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